Date Posted: 2012-12-17
Tolkien Fan Level: 8
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
After watching "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in 3D at 48fps, I left the theater very satisfied with what I saw. Contrary to the many neutral critic reviews, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the film. Peter Jackson has an amazing vision of Middle-Earth, and he surprised me once again with his creative imagination on-screen. Despite the long running time, (2 hrs. and 40 mins.), I thought the flow of the movie was well balanced. There was adequate time for character development, plenty of action, and no dull moments in the film. By the end of the movie, I thought the running time was just right - I left wanting more, in fact! I loved how the movie took the opportunity to reveal more of the Dwarven culture, which was absent from the LOTR Trilogy. The other highlights of the movie was the first look of Erebor, the Trollshaw Forest encounter with the 3 trolls, the beauty of Rivendell (which showed some much needed hospitality of the Elves), and the massive expanse of Goblintown where the pinnacle of the action took place. The jewel of the movie, however, was the "Riddles in the Dark" scene with Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis. They did an incredible job of acting out the scene! Compared to LOTR Trilogy, this movie definitely gave you more room to breathe as it told a lighter tale and stuck more closely with the characters and the journey they were on. It was as if you were also traveling with the companions on the quest for the Lonely Mountain! Despite slight changes or absences from the book, I think this movie followed the book very closely with the sections that were covered.
There are only three points about the movie in which I thought could be improved. Howard Shore's music score was great to hear once again, but I wish he would have strayed farther from the many recurring song themes from the LOTR movies. The Lonely Mountain theme was amazing though! Another aspect that was drew my attention was the character of Azog. His character looked unnatural compared to the rest of the characters, as if he were CGI or just a bad costume. It was more of a distraction than I wanted it to be. Lastly, there were a couple of moments in which the 48fps looked a little weird, such as Radagast's escape from Dol Guldur - it seemed as if he was in fast forward mode. I look very much forward to the extended version of the movie, which will hopefully include more scenes that help with character development and a closer adherence to the book. I give "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" 4 1/2 stars out of 5.
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